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Integrator Reader Suggestions for the Top 10 from 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Integrator Reader Suggestions for the Top 10 Events/Action and People from 2009

Summary: The annual publication of an Integrator Top 10 list always leaves room for reader submissions of their recommendations. This year brought some excellent suggestions, for both Top 10 Actions and Events and the first time, Top 10 People. From the responses, we have proved that we are well integrated into popular culture: the People list stimulated more responses. Here are the Integrator reader nominations from 2009.

Send your comments to
for inclusion in a future Integrator.

This year the Integrator, taking the lead from the Academy Awards which is doubling the number of Best Picture nominees, broke with tradition and published not one but two Top 10 lists. The first is the original Coming of the Light list which focuses on Top 10 Actions and Events from 2009. The second was a Top 10 People from 2009. In both cases, the list had just 9 slots filled, leaving one for readers. Here are your nominees, some given anonymously, and some for which I sought and obtained a right to print the attribution. Enjoy reflecting on these contributors to our work - plus Taylor Walsh's set of a other top 10 lists which might be interesting which might be interesting in the future.

Integrator Reader Nominees for Top 10 from 2009

Under Top 10 Events and Action, readers submitted the following:

Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
ImageThe phenomenal engine for change in medical education and practice that is the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine was directly recommended by one reader while another recommended the Center's founder, Andrew Weil, MD (see below). The Integrator reporting has touched on some of the array of work the Center has accomplished in the era of executive director Victoria Maizes, MD, MPH, including development and expansion of an integrative medicine in residency program and the Corporate Health Improvement Program located there. The group of ACIM program directors speaks of the richness of the Center's activities. ACIM has been under-reported. More in 2010!  
Integrated Healthcare Policy Consortium

"I would nominate IHPC for giving integrated healthcare patients and providers a direct line to The Hill. I believe this is the first time we have been able to speak together as the diverse community we are." This nomination came in prior to the Top 10 People list in which Janet Kahn, PhD, IHPC's executive director, was honored. IHPC, the leading multidisciplinary organization which is representing integrative practices and integrated care on Capitol Hill was instrumental in inserting inclusive language in a healthcare workforce section of US Senate legislation, supported successful work to get some non-discrimination language in the bill (though less than what IHPC sought), was part of the coalition which the Samueli Institute organized to support the Wellness Initiative for the Nation, urged stakeholder response to the NCCAM strategic plan and supported their work with a series of Action Alerts.

Two nominated the same organization with which they - and I - happen to be involved. This one's up to you: Do you think it deserves inclusion?

Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care

Image"I nominate ACCAHC for its first formal consortium to consortium joint working meeting with the (Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine-CAHCIM) at the North American Research Conference on Complementary and Integrative Medicine!" This first time event, involving some 80 educators was noted in the Top 10 People via the honoring of Victor Sierpina, MD, the immediate past chair of CAHCIM who was instrumental in making the joint meeting happen. In addition, a massage therapist educator recommended ACCAHC for its role in placing the only CAM stakeholder on the planning committee for the February 25-27, 2009 National Summit on Integrative Medicine and the Health of the Public. The individual who served, Elizabeth Goldblatt, PhD/MPA/HA was successful in helping increase the inclusiveness of the Summit participants. 
A nomination that is part Events and Action and part Top 10 People is a mind-body program in which a major health system is linking with a major corporation, via an entrepreneurial healer.

Robert Levine, PhD and Chrysler's Mind-Body Health Program

Program developer Robert A. Levine, PhD
Like ACIM, an area under-reported in the Integrator but rightfully nominated this year is the remarkable group services program Robert Levine, PhD has developed through his employer, the Henry Ford Health System, and offered to Chrysler employees. The initiative which has continued since was covered here in 2007. Levine took the Top 10 invitation as a time to remind me about a unique program to which I will soon return for a follow-up even as Levine works to expand and offer it to employees with Dow Chemical: 
"I am pleased to nominate myself for #10 (you know how modest I am ...!) This would be a great way to bring more notice to the group programs I have been offering and won awards for. So far we have offered 14 programs to nearly 1,000 employees of Chrysler and Henry Ford Health System. Every program has been effective for pain elimination (between 35-55% of chronic pain conditions). All programs had significant reductions in perceived stress, disability, and depression symptoms. Sleep quality improved significantly in all programs. We are also, as far as I know, the first to track stress ELIMINATION, which we define as a person being free of automatic unhealthy reactions circumstances (stress definition) greater than 95% of the time. I think this will turn out to be a big deal when we publish what we are doing in this regard. Recent programs where we have been tracking this have been between 15 and 30% stress ELIMINATION by participants- pretty fantastic!! ... We are starting to  get some real traction for helping large numbers of people with our group programs."
Under Top 10 People, Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, author of the Definitive Guide to Cancer: An Integrated Approach to Prevention, Treatment and Healing and the immediate past president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) submitted this:
David Matteson

David Matteson
"Fun list and happy to see several people on it, including my dear friend and colleague Karolyn Gazella. I am a fan of David Matteson for consideration. He has consistently worked behind the scenes of several influential developments in integrative medicine. This past year, he has supported the emergence of the AANP into its governance model, he helped to connect the [Natural Products Association] to practitioner organizations including the AANP. He helped to orchestrate the inclusion of Tai Sophia and Bob Duggan, president, into integrated discussions on the Hill and inter-organizationally. And, he was very influential in bringing together the AHMA, ACAM, AANP, AHNA, ACCAHC and CAHCIM in our convention (2008) and the subsequent on-going collaborations that have followed.He has also continued to work with the massage therapy association in Washington State and has worked with the chiropractors in the past." 
Bill Manahan, MD, a family medicine educator at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine, holistic medical leader and Integrator adviser sent the following:
"Nice job with your top ten. Most of us love lists, so your top ten people and events is fun to read (and, of course, agree or disagree with). I have a few names that I think have done great work in advancing integrative medicine this past year.  Here are the four that I nominate:
Robert Anderson, MD

Robert Anderson, MD
"Bob Anderson will be stepping down as Executive Director of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic Medicine. He was done on December 31, and Nan Sudak, MD will be taking over as ED. Bob began that certification process for integrative holistic physicians over 10 years ago, and there are close to 1500 diplomats now.  As soon as Andy Weil gets on board and learns to encourage his graduates to take the test, Board Certification will become even more popular.  Bob has been a quiet, yet incredible and inspirational leader in the field for over 30 years.

Andrew Weil, MD

Weil: perennial influencer
"Andy Weil continues to do amazing work in spreading the word of integrative holistic medicine.  With the beginning of his on-line integrative residency, I think he has truly helped move integrative medicine out to masses of physicians.  Andy is on my top ten list every year, but his expanded residency makes him especially deserving this year.

James Gordon, MD

Gordon: for educational work and new book
"Jim Gordon also continues to do amazing work.  His Food as Medicine, Mind/Body, and Cancer Coaching courses continue to train large numbers of practitioners with the skills needed to become integrative practitioners. He also continues to do wonderful work overseas with the poor and disenfranchised. Jim, like Andy, qualifies for my top ten list every year because of what he continues to do in the integrative field, but his excellent book on depression this past year [Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey out of Depression] makes 2009 a special one for him."

Manahan then added a note that "John Weeks continues to do incredible reporting on the changes occurring in integrative medicine. The Integrator Blog is the only national magazine, website or newsletter that truly attempts to bring all the healers, specialties, and modalities under one roof. John, you are the unifying agent that is helping to promote true collaboration among all the disciplines, and you deserve the award for 2009 because of the great reporting you continue to do. These would be my top 4."

Along this same line, Lou Sportelli, DC, author and president of NCMIC, an Integrator sponsor, wrote:
"No. 10 the personal success undertaken by John Weeks 'who walked the walk' with his own journey back to health by incorporating the entire gamut of 'traditional medicine,' complementary medicine, and every aspect of mind-body intervention to regain health and return to a position of doing what he loves and work ceases to be work. That is a phenomenal testimony to conviction and courage put into action." [Editor's note: Manahan and Sportelli are each individuals I have been lucky to consider as mentors though the years. I am pleased, if a little embarrassed, that each took the time to send these notes, particularly after the year that was.]

Taylor Walsh offers his own list ideas
Integrator contributor Taylor Walsh, whose last piece was on a meeting of scientists on the integrative medicine and comparative effectiveness research, took a different tack. He wrote: "Great lists" then added: 
"Regarding who/what else might be included, I thought of slightly different twists that suggest two other kinds of lists (maybe for next year) ... "

LIST A. Top Health Trends That Need IM/IH Involvement

"1. The employee-wellness initiatives rising out of Safeway's internal operations (that gave rise to the "Safeway" component in the Senate bill.  I don't know where that stands in the legislation); three related outcomes: Bravewell's partnership, Dr. Oz's "HealthCorps, and the curious Center for Employee Wellness and Health Promotion  in the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute that is apparently employing CAM therapies in its planned research for 2010.

"2. Examples of improved awareness and/or greater acceptance of CAM:

  • Inclusion of therapies in the spa industry
  • CAM use in hospitals
  • Growth of regional combo allopathic/CAM practices
  • Positive media accounts (the opposite of LIST B next)
  • Addition of healing spaces in facility and landscape/garden construction (i.e., "wellness centers" being added as part of hospital expansions; new one here at a DC hospital")

LIST B. The Worst (Most Amusing? Least Helpful?) Misconceptions about CAM in 2009"

1. Pick from among news and other public descriptions."

Comment: These are all fine nominations and suggestions. I am particularly interested in those like Anderson, Matteson and Levine who are less sung yet impact participants in our work. No offense of course to Weil and Gordon. Maybe I should just say anyone who has a cash prize from Bravewell is off consideration, though their work - like Brian Berman's new Institute, can be considered. Regarding Walsh's list ideas: perhaps from time to time in 2010 the Integrator will send out queries to all of you on a list we can jointly build.

Send your comments to
for inclusion in a future Integrator.

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